Selling a house – no matter what your circumstances – is a trying time in anyone’s life. If you want to add stress on top of stress… try both selling and buying a house at the same time! With lengthy transactions, lots of waiting, plenty of legal and technical tasks to attend to, property chains and so on, attempting two major changes simultaneously can be a challenge for anyone. It can be exponentially more arduous if you are on a tight timeline.
If you are wondering how to sell and buy a house, read on for helpful tips that can get you moving in the right direction.
How to Sell and Buy a House
Ideally, you could sell your home immediately upon listing and indulge in the luxury of searching for or purchasing your next one while leisurely taking care of removals. Then reality sets in! Most times, you will run into a housing chain. This is when purchases are dependent upon those that precede and follow other purchases. They are common – and a common source of headaches for home sellers and buyers alike.
Here are some tips on how to sell and buy a house:
Value Your Property
It is important to have a solid idea of what your house is worth. You can find easy and free valuation tools online and utilise resources such as Zoopla and Rightmove. You can also ask estate agents to do a valuation; most will do this for free so they can view the property and pitch you their services. Aim for valuations from three different agents.
Figure Out Your Finances
How much equity do you have in your current house? How much can you afford to spend on your next? Do you have sufficient funds for your deposit? If you can, schedule the exchange of contracts the same day as your buyer exchanges. You can then use that deposit to pay your own.
If there is a shortfall, your solicitor may be able to work with the seller’s representative to agree on a smaller deposit, but likely, you will need some extra cash. And again, do not forget about other expenses, such as stamp duty, estate agent, solicitor and conveyancing fees, removals and so on.
You will also need to speak with a mortgage broker in regards to your current mortgage, if you hold one, as well as your next mortgage, if you need one. In some cases, you can remortgage or port your mortgage (i.e. transfer your existing loan to a new house).
Take Care of the Paperwork
You will need:
- An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) for the home you are selling before you can list it
- Proof of ID and address (for lender)
- Documents regarding new appliance guarantees, boiler servicing and/or any new rewiring (for lender)
Prepare to Sell
For the best chance of getting your asking price, do a deep clean and declutter your home. Remove bulky furniture that takes up too much space, remove personal items, family photos and knick knacks, give your rooms a coat of fresh neutral paint and make sure your exterior is equally inviting and appealing.
Find an estate agent you trust to list your property and market it. You will also benefit from a conveyancing solicitor who can take care of the legal aspects of the selling and buying processes.
And Prepare to Buy
While all of this is occurring, you also need to start your house hunt in earnest. Your estate agent can be helpful but you may require a buying agent to secure housing before you sell your existing home.
When you find a property, put in an offer and be prepared to negotiate. As well, you will need to contact your lender and ask them to go ahead with your full mortgage application.
Your conveyancing solicitor will be conducting local searches for boundary issues, building control certificates and other important documentation around the house. A survey of the property is also necessary at this point.
From there, you can work to set dates for exchanges of contract and completion. There are, of course, myriad other steps that you will need to track – and usually simultaneously! Another option is to forgo all of the hassle of selling and work with a cash property buyer. You will have a guaranteed sale within a very short amount of time. That cleared out of the way, you can proceed towards buying your next home.